The total of 105 species for the month was a notch above the ten-year average for the month of 102.7 species. The year total of 175 species was the first to break 170 since 2001. Six species were added to the year list; four regulars in Goldeneye, Woodcock, Tree Sparrow and Bewick’s Swan plus two rarities in Puffin (only our sixth and the first since 2016) and a Storm Petrel on 16th (a new bird for the site and a very unpredictable species in the county). Other birds of note included a maximum of 68 Sanderling roosting on the 12th and our latest record of House Martin and only the second record of Corn Bunting of the year on 23rd.
175 species for the year
167 by the same time last year
Cloudy, misty with a light SW wind. The month ended on a high note. All three divers included a Black-throated Diver west and a Great Northern Diver offshore. The two Slavonian Grebes swam west off the Obs. Four Bewick’s Swans (three adults and a juvenile) flew low west over the area, calling, at 9.30 am. Three White-fronted Geese headed south low over the scout hut and, later another two, apparently exhausted, landed on the sea. One eventually circled the area several times before heading east whilst the second swam ashore to rest on the shingle ridge. A single Greylag Goose flew east over the area. Ducks included one Shelduck west, groups of eight and four Wigeon resting on the sea, two Gadwall west, two Tufted Ducks and a party of five Common and two Velvet Scoters east and nine Red-breasted Mergansers. 400 Lapwings flew west during the course of the morning and a lone Kittiwake flew east.
Misty, calm, the sunny with a mist out to sea. The two Slavonian Grebes were east of the tidal ponds. Seven White-fronted Geese flew south over the caravan park and ducks included seven Wigeon west and a pair offshore, two Gadwall east, four Teal offshore, a duck Shoveler circling offshore and later three pairs on the sea drifting east, ten Common Scoters and nine Red-breasted Mergansers offshore and the pair again on the Marsh Pool. Waders included a Grey Plover on the beach and 43 roosting Sanderlings. A Guillemot circled around off the Obs. Other birds included two Skylarks, three Meadow Pipits and a Grey Wagtail.
Cloudy, cool, light NE wind. There was a Great Northern Diver offshore and, unusually close inshore, a raft of c670 Cormorants (until flushed by jet skiers). A Shelduck, 20 Teal and 20 Common Scoters flew west, there were five Red-breasted Mergansers offshore and, for the first time, a pair were on the Marsh Pool. Waders included a group of seven high-flying Black-tailed Godwits heading west above the wind turbines. The lone Lapwing and 22 Redshanks were on the Marsh Pool. Greg counted 43 Curlews on the football field behind the caravan park and three Kittiwakes flew west. Other birds included Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail and three Stonechats.
Cloudy, light northerly wind. Two Slavonian Grebes were seen briefly displaying to each other on the sea and remained in the sane area all morning. Five Shelduck, five Wigeon, five Teal and a Pintail flew west, there were 30+ Common Scoters offshore and a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers were “snorkelling” along the shoreline by the Obs. Waders included a Grey Plover and five Golden Plovers east, 20 Sanderlings and a Dunlin on the beach and four Snipe and 25 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. There were two Kittiwakes west and 23 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach. Other birds noted included three Meadow Pipits, a Grey Wagtail, three Stonechats, a Song Thrush and 18 Linnets.
Cloudy, light southerly wind. There was one Great Northern Diver offshore and seven Common Scoters flew east. There were 15 Redshanks roosting on the Marsh Pool. Four Kittiwakes flew east, 22 Great Black-backed Gulls were on the beach and two large auk sp flew east. Other birds seen included the female Kingfisher, a Grey Wagtail and a Goldcrest.
Sunny, calm. Three Red-throated Divers flew west, there were two Grey Herons on the tidal ponds, a Shelduck flew west and eight Common Scoters flew east. There were 28 Great Black-backed Gulls on the tidal ponds. Four Skylarks flew west, a House Martin flew west over the obs at 9.50 am (our latest ever). A Corn Bunting in the pear tree near the bluethroat bush was only the second record this year. It flew off east. Other birds seen included three Grey Wagtails, a Chiffchaff and a Reed Bunting.
Sunny periods, light SW wind. There were two Red-throated Divers offshore, four Gannets , six Common Scoters and a redhead Red-breasted Merganser flew west. Birds of the day, however, were two adult Bewick’s Swans which flew west low over the sea at 9.45 am. Waders included 70 Golden Plovers west, a Grey Plover and 30 Lapwings – the Marsh Pool resident, four resting on the tidal ponds and a flock of 25 flying west. Also seven Sanderlings on the beach and three visible Snipe on the Marsh Pool. 18 Great Black-backed Gulls were gathered on the tidal ponds. Other birds included two Little Grebes in the brook below the sluice, a circling to the SE and a Chiffchaff in the Elm Wood.
Sunny with a light SW wind. There were three Little Grebes in the brook and a Slavonian Grebe offshore. One Shelduck flew west, one Teal, five Common Scoters flew west and a Velvet Scoter, flying west at 8.48 am, was our first of the winter. A drake Red-breasted Merganser was also offshore. A Grey Plover was on the beach. Other birds included a Skylark over the caravan park, a Grey Wagtail, a Chiffchaff, 52 Carrion Crows on the beach, single Siskin and Redpoll and a Reed Bunting in the scrub.
Cloudy, fresh W-NW wind, cooler. A good day for divers and grebes. A Black-throated Diver flew west close inshore, a Great Northern Diver, possibly two, on the sea and then flew west. Also several Red-throated Divers. Two Little Grebes wee in the brook, there were 23 Great Crested Grebes offshore, a Red-necked Grebe flew west and two Slavonian Grebes on the sea also flew west. Two Tree Sparrows flew west behind the Obs; a new addition to the year list. Other birds noted included Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail and Reed Bunting.
Sunny, mild with a moderate westerly wind. Four Little Grebes, one on the Marsh Pool and three in the brook, six Little Egrets and two Grey Herons on the tidal ponds. One drake Red-breasted Merganser was offshore and waders included three Golden Plovers and 30 Sanderlings on the beach. A Great Skua was harassing gulls distantly offshore and there were 30 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach. Other birds noted included Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Redpoll west and a Reed Bunting in the scrub.
A late Common Darter dragonfly was noted by the Obs.
There were three Red-breasted Mergansers, four Snipe and 15 Redshanks were noted on the Marsh Pool. A Stonechat and six Long-tailed Tits were also seen.
Cloudy, mild with a moderate westerly wind. The day started well (or badly if you missed it) with a Storm Petrel offshore being mobbed by Black-headed Gulls before dropping out of sight on the sea. A new bird for the site and the first, or only one, this year. A Great Northern Diver was again offshore, there were also 20+ Great Crested Grebes offshore, three Pintail flew west and four Common Scoters flew east. A Marsh Harrier flew west close inshore and a Water Rail showed well along the middle brook.
50 Curlews were counted on the football pitch behind the caravan park in the afternoon.
Sunny, mild with a fresh southerly wind. A Great Northern Diver was close inshore off the shingle ridge, two Red-throated Divers were also offshore, there were 85 Brent Geese along the shoreline, a Shelduck flew west and two Little Grebes were noted. A Marsh Harrier flew west over the sea at 8.25 am. Other birds noted included a second-winter Mediterranean Gull on the sea, a Goldcrest at the Obs and the flock of 20 Linnets on the shingle ridge.
A Water Vole was seen swimming across the middle brook.
Cloudy, some drizzle then sunny, moderate SW wind. One Red-throated Diver offshore, 57 Brent Geese on the beach, two Shelducks west and six Common Scoters east. There were six Little Grebes, including five together in the brook below the sluice, and a Marsh Harrier flew west over the sea at 8.25 am. Waders included 37 Sanderlings along the shoreline on the incoming tide and single Lapwing and Snipe on the Marsh Pool. A Sandwich Tern was close inshore. Other birds noted included two Skylarks west, a Grey Wagtail, a Song Thrush in the bushes opposite the Obs, five Long-tailed Tits at the Obs and 18 Linnets on the shingle ridge.
Sunny with a light westerly wind. One Red-throated Diver and six Common Scoters flew east and many Gannets were fishing offshore. There were 57 Brent Geese on the beach and waders included 55 Ringed Plovers, a Grey Plover, 68 Sanderlings and 52 Dunlin on the beach, a flock of 30 Golden Plovers west and a Snipe on the Marsh Pool. One Little Grebe was in the brook below the sluice. Other birds noted included a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the Elm Wood and a Grey Wagtail.
Cloudy with a light southerly wind. A ringtail Hen Harrier flew west and a Slavonian Grebe was offshore. There were three Mute Swans. Waders included one Grey Plover west, 22 Dunlin on the beach and a Lapwing and four Snipe on the Marsh Pool. An adult Mediterranean Gull and two adult Little Gulls flew west and there were 18 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach. Other birds included a male Great Spotted Woodpecker in the Elm Wood, two Skylarks, and a Goldcrest in the churchyard.
A duck Goldeneye flew west, there were four Red-breasted Mergansers offshore, including three eclipse drakes, and a Common Scoter was lingering offshore. A Goldcrest was in the trees behind the Obs and a flock of 40 Lesser Redpolls flew west.
Cloudy, mild with a light SE wind. A good day for ducks with 12 Shelducks, 12 Wigeon, a Teal and two Shovelers west. Flocks of Common Scoters, both east and west, included one of 90 birds and a redhead Red-breasted Merganser was offshore all morning. A Little Grebe was in the brook below the sluice and waders included one Grey Plover west, c50 Lapwings north, three Dunlins on the beach and two Snipe on the Marsh Pool. Seven adult Little Gulls flew east. Other birds included a Rock Pipit in the remnant brook, c20 Long-tailed Tits including ten in a small bush behind the beach and two Reed Buntings.
A Sandwich Tern was on the tidal ponds and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was in the churchyard.
Unusually, a young Common Seal was hauled out on the beach.
Sunny, calm. There were two Red-throated Divers and 14 Great Crested Grebes offshore and ten or more Gannets were often sitting on the calm sea. A flock of 15 Wigeon, including three Gadwall, flew west and another three Wigeon also flew west, a duck Common Scoter was settled close inshore, four flew east and a flock of 20 flying west included three drakes. A redhead Red-breasted Merganser was also on the sea. Waders included a Grey Plover and two Lapwings on the beach and three Snipe on the Marsh Pool. An adult Mediterranean Gull, a juvenile Kittiwake and a Sandwich Tern flew east. Other birds included a Stock Dove, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, two Redwings along the east bank, a Chiffchaff at Lang Court, a Goldcrest at the Obs and a Redpoll west.
A Red Admiral was by the sea wall by the caravan park.
Sunny with a light easterly wind. There were two Red-throated Divers offshore and another flew east. A Little Grebe was on the Marsh Pool, a Grey Heron on the tidal ponds, three Shelducks were by the tidal ponds, 20 Common Scoters flew west, a drake Red-breasted Merganser was in the tidal ponds and a pair flew east. Waders included four Dunlin west along the shoreline and a Snipe in the Marsh Pool. Four adult Kittiwakes flew east and three large auks flew east too distant for specific identification. An adult Peregrine flew west. Other birds noted included Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Chiffchaff and, best of all, a male Black Redstart perched atop an elm tree which disappeared into the sewage works.
A Puffin flew east close inshore at 9.45 am. Our sixth record for the site (all falling within the dates of 30th October and 7th December). A small flock of Wigeon and Pintail flew west, an adult and an immature drake Goldeneye flew west, a duck Common Scoter was offshore and a Teal was on the Marsh Pool. Waders included good numbers of Lapwings on the move and a Bar-tailed Godwit on the beach. Skylarks were trickling through, there were good numbers of Fieldfares, three Redwings flew west in a flock of Starlings and two Mistle Thrushes were by the scout hut. Bramblings, Siskins and Redpolls were noted along with a single Greenfinch. Also noted were Great Spotted Woodpecker and Chiffchaff.
Sunny, cool with a light NW wind. One Red-throated Diver flew east, there were 12 Great Crested Grebes offshore and a Slavonian Grebe, our second of the winter, was on the sea off the Obs. A total of 14 Shelducks and a group of four Gadwall flew west. A ringtail Hen Harrier flew west at 6.55 am (also our second of the winter), and a Woodcock was flushed from the churchyard by Geoff Racher, an addition to the year list. Other waders included a Grey Plover west and a Snipe and 17 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. There were two Sandwich Terns offshore. With the cooler weather, no hirundines were seen, but a Fieldfare dropped into the sewage works and two Bramblings and three Siskins flew west. Also noted were two Kingfishers and a Grey Wagtail.
A Red Admiral put in the briefest of appearances by the Obs.
Sunny periods, a few showers, fresh SW wind. A Great Northern Diver landed by the tidal ponds at 9.40 am. There were ten Great Crested Grebes offshore and ten female/immature Common Scoters flew west close inshore. Waders included three Lapwings resting on the tidal ponds, a single Dunlin on the beach and a Snipe and 12 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. A further increase to 25 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach and a Sandwich Tern offshore. Four Skylarks, three Swallows and four House Martins flew west. A Grey Wagtail was by the sluice.
A Red-throated Diver and a juvenile male Peregrine flew east.
Cloudy, mild with a fresh southerly wind. Birds of the day were a close inshore Great Northern Diver (our first returning bird) and an immature Goldeneye which flew west at 11.45 am and was new for the year. Two Great Crested Grebes were offshore, three Gannets flew east and a Little Grebe was in the lower brook. Waders included 12 Sanderlings on the beach, two Mediterranean Gulls flew SW over the estate, six Sandwich Terns were hunkered down on the beach where there was an increase to 17 Great Black-backed Gulls. A few Swallows and House Martins were lingering in the area.